Slip Sliding Away
The new Harris Interactive poll has Bush’s approval rating at 29%! He is rapidly approaching Nixonian numbers, but the most interesting number from the Harris poll is the loss of 13% from Republicans due to Bush’s economic policies. Tax cuts usually produce a boost in approval from the Republican base, so Bush’s victory in getting his latest $70 billion dollar tax giveaway to the rich passed by the Senate yesterday is sure to get his numbers at least back into the 30% range. Or is it?
These new tax cuts are just more of the same, a shifting of the tax burden from those at the top, to those in the middle and taking money away from government at a time when we are running record deficits. Wall Street may like this, but even if the economy is doing well on paper, the American people aren’t feeling any relief and continue to view the economy as shaky. If Bush’s previous tax breaks for the wealthy haven’t improved his poll numbers, it’s doubtful that these will either, in fact, they are likely to drive them further downward as many people are waking up to the idea that this is not only bad fiscal policy, it is downright dangerous.
The Harris poll was taken before the news broke that the NSA domestic spy program, authorized by Bush, is collecting information on millions of Americans with the help of the three largest telecommunications companies. While over half of Americans were okay with warrantless eavesdropping on international telephone calls, data mining of their own personal telephone and Internet habits may provoke a much stronger negative response. Especially when President Bush’s reaction to the breaking story was, “trust me, I’m not breaking the law.” That may have worked when he had widespread support after 9/11, but at 29% approval, it’s pretty clear most of America doesn’t trust him at all.
And there seems to be nothing but bad news on the horizon for Bush. Reporters are staking out the courthouse today in anticipation of a Rove indictment being handed up in the CIA leak case, the FBI raided the home of Kyle “Dusty” Foggo this morning, likely in connection with the Duke Cunningham bribery scandal. Foggo was the number 3 man at the CIA, hand-picked for the position by Porter Goss. And now that over 50 members of Congress have signed on to a full investigation of the NSA domestic spying program, the confirmation of General Hayden as CIA director could get pretty ugly, considering that he is the one who set up the program at the NSA in the first place.
If Bush’s support among Republicans dropped 13% over the last two weeks, there’s no telling how far he will drop over the next two. Bush might want to take a walk down the hall and ask his boss Cheney how it feels to have an approval rating in the teens, it might better prepare him for what looks to be right around the corner. He is the worst President in history and the American people may be on the verge of letting him in on this little secret. It’s about time!
Update: Apparently, I was a little too quick in assuming my fellow Americans would be outraged at the prospect of their personal telephone habits being collected and analyzed by a secret government agency. I guess feeling protected from the hyper-inflated risk of a terrorist attack IS worth sacrificing our Constitutional right to privacy. Just when I think the public is finally waking up, they fall right back to sleep again, or do they? Perhaps I'm just meant to think that they do.